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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3055 ..

Owners will also be given plain language information about the approvals and building process. It will detail their responsibilities and those of certifiers and builders. As well as being provided with better and clearer information about roles and responsibilities through the development process, consumers will also be provided with better and clearer information about the existing compliance mechanisms and how they can engage them if they experience unacceptable building work.

These measures are largely short-term measures—measures that the government is already implementing. It is worth noting that there is also a range of other long-term measures which the government is considering. These measures have been put to industry for their views. I am pleased to advise that I am now starting to get some constructive responses from industry.

These possible measures include developing a proposal to extend time frames for existing statutory building warranty periods, developing a proposal to create a building defects fund, introducing mandatory independent preoccupancy inspections, and introducing negative licensing for finishing trades. Again, the government will carefully consider the advice we receive before proceeding.

To further these proposals, I have determined to convene a building quality forum to discuss some of the more complex, long-term measures that might be taken. I have asked the Planning and Land Authority to organise this forum as soon as possible. I understand that we will be in a position to conduct this this month, if that is convenient to the representatives of the community, industry and property-related professionals who will be invited to attend the forum.

Consultation is going to be a key part of delivering any changes to address these complex issues. I look forward to speaking with representatives or organisations involved to help generate solutions. So the government will be supporting the Greens party amendment to Mr Seselja’s motion this morning. We believe this is the best way forward to resolve these issues. If members are genuine in their desire to resolve this problem then they will follow the lead of the Greens party and work with government to achieve a practical outcome that will make a difference.

The test will be who chooses to politicise this process and who chooses to work constructively to get outcomes. The judge of that will not be me, it will not be the Greens party and it will not be the Liberal Party. It will be the people of the ACT. They will make their judgement in an independent way, based on how people act, not on what they say.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.19): To close the debate, if there are no other speakers, Mr Assistant Speaker, I thank members for their contribution. Just to reiterate, we will not be supporting the amendment. We have a difference of opinion in terms of the approach here. We take the view that the government have sat on this issue for some time, and asking them to effectively investigate themselves I do not think is the right way to go. We would prefer that the Assembly have the ability to look at that.

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